To Serve a Vampire's Whim
My name is Patchouli Knowledge,
the one-week magician, probably known by now as the unmoving great library.
Everything I ever did are for the sake of revealing the greater truth, thus my thirst of knowledge gave birth to this library.
But this little grimoire in your hand; this "Scarlet Archive" I made, was nothing but a simple whim.
A tiny memento I have for a friend of mine,
about her past, her family, and the blood red trail she left behind.
This is not a story about me.
This is the story about the Scarlets, when they have finally decided to leave their tattered world behind.
100 years ago, a city in France—
Dark. Cool and damp. Just the way I like it.
I took a simple sip from my cup of tea, eyes locked on the newest grimoire I had finally discovered. It was difficult to find books about magic nowadays, with the industrial revolution occuring, magic had finally being pushed aside by science.
It was the dawn of a new era for humanity.
And us, magicians and the like, had started to be forgotten.
Things didn't go quite satisfying for the supernatural beings, or generalized as 'youkai' by the eastern, in the current era. Why? I wouldn't explain their natures and traits in details, though how much I'd like to, but it happened since most of them existed from the fear of humans. Thus, when humans started to deny them, they would also disappear.
Extinction; as how you might say it.
It wasn't really hard for us magicians to fit in given our humanoid shape and similar anatomy, but for those closer to bestiary, well, it went without having me to say anything. But as countermeasure I had started a research, about a far far away place for us youkai.
An eastern wonderland.
A place where youkai coexist with humans. And my reasearch had reach to a point where I could pinpoint the location—
"What are you looking so serious about, Patchy?"
There goes my peaceful brainstorming. I jerked away from the table, dodging the sudden pair of scarlet orbs that materialized in front of my face, almost toppling down my chair; their owner simply laughed softly, letting her jet black wings fluttered as she plopped gracefully on my desk.
"Did you find an interesting grimoire?"
I swallowed a bit, trying to find my voice amidst my shock; luckily my asthma didn't act out.
"I see. It's been a while since you found one I presume."
I gazed as she took hold of the book I was reading, skimming through it with her sharp red eyes. I sighed. There were two possiblities on why she suddenly appearing here.
First, the most common one, because she was bored thus she would ask me to do something 'interesting'.
Second, the silliest, because she had a fight with her sister.
There were times when there was a third possibility though; that was, because she REALLY need my witchcraft to do something important.
Wait, haven't I introduced her yet?
Her name was Remilia Scarlet, a vampire, the mistress of this mansion I lived in, and my close friend. How we ended up as friends was a different story. For now, I felt more like her babysitter, so I sat straight back up on my chair, eyeing her playful figure.
"So? What brings you here today, Remi? Another quarrel with Flan?"
"Fortunately, no. Flan has been stable lately."
"Really? I recall she came to me a few days ago because 'onee-sama stole my pudding'."
"I didn't—wait. I don't know the two of you had grown fond of each other."
That was quite questionable, true. About a good few decades ago I nearly killed this very vampire in front of my eyes, and her little sister hated me with her very being. So maybe hearing her little sister looking for my company sounded alien to her. In fact, I hardly believed it myself.
"Time changes people; you can put it that way."
"Hm, maybe Flandre had finally understand your position. Besides, it was thanks to you that this itching wound on my chest finally subsided."
"You should call it 'aching', not 'itching', Remi. It almost infected your heart."
She simply laughed. She was too carefree for her own good sometimes, which I believed why she had never thinking of relocating anytime soon. Her existence was already near the point of vanishing! Truly she wasn't that foolish, right?
"Putting that matter aside, you haven't told me why you come here."
"Ah, yes. I need your help, Patchy."
She leaped down my desk, and I narrowed my eyes, following her swift movement. Her piercing red eyes stared back at me with an unknown intention. She smirked.
"Something that can only be done with your magic."
I stared dumbfoundedly at her, at her figure proudly sitting on the stack of books she had proclaimed as her favorite chair, eyes twitching in irritation. She couldn't have come here and asked for my magic to get—
"Yes, a brooch."
"You want me to use my magic...to make a brooch?"
"Yes and no. I want you to get a very brooch lost in the past, the kerykeion; symbol of the head of the Scarlet family."
I pinched my temple, taking a deep breath.
"So you want me to remake an exact same brooch?"
"No, Patchy didn't I tell you?"
She floated down the stack of book, giving the one on her hand to me.
"It was a one and only brooch made from a unique gem, passed down from ancient era. And I want you to get that brooch for me; that exact brooch."
"Which means you want me to..."
"Fu fu fu, you fill that blank yourself. Well, I better leave you to your exciting research then. I have to solve the lost pudding incident with Flandre."
My eyes still locked at her as she retreated to the door, staring in disbelief.
"Have fun, magician~"
"No. Wrong. This isn't it."
I put away yet another failed experiment, sighing to myself. How many days had passed since she gave this silly task, I wonder? And yes, why do you look so surprised with this pile of junk? Magic is not as simple as chanting spell or swishing your wand. It needs a pure understanding of the formula and materials needed. And what she asked for was nearly impossible.
"Time and space manipulation magic."
I reread the block letters written in Latin; my voice was hoarse as sign for not sleeping for days. Really, that vampire always did everything on her whim. Why would she need that brooch anyway? I was too late for me to stop, though. So I try to reform my thought, straightening my posture and took another another sip of my tea.
"Alright, let's see. Everything are composed from seven main elements, with a formula to form them. To 'get something from the past' means to relocate that object from the 'past' to the 'present', and relocating means you have to rewrite the formula of 'space' in that object. But to pass the time barrier, you need to get the 'exact formula' of that object at the exact time in the past."
I wrote down everything I had for now, joining one point with another to make one complete formula. In truth my theory was almost complete, leaving only one tiny gaping hole.
"I have no data about the brooch."
What was it made of? I can deduce the size, but what shape? What color? There was no book in this library that explain about that simple yet crucial information. I had asked Remi before, but she could only gave me the outline. I guess I couldn't expect much from the family that had vanished into ashes.
But my curiosity and thirst of knowledge had won over my reason. Yes, there was only one little thing left to figure out. And if all the books in this world couldn't answer my question, where else can I find one?
"The Akashic records; the memories of the world."
Yes. Everything had the history of themselves written in the Akashic records; living being, inanimate objects, everything. By patching the scattered information hidden in the records I could obtain that brooch once again. But where? Where could I find the object that hold all the memories I need? Where can I find the complete history of that brooch?
Suddenly, a realization hit me like a wave, and I froze. Gazing at my own reflection reflected in the surface of the red tea on my cup.
It was right before me from the start.
"Knock, knock, Patchy~ Are you there?"
"Here it is!"
I rose from my desk almost instantly, sending some piles of thick books crushing to the floor with a loud slam. I could see Remi raised a brow at my sudden outburst, and I chuckled, a tired yet satisfied smile on my face.
"This is it, Remi! This!"
She approached me slowly, rather carefully. I wondered what's wrong? But my exhilatared mind couldn't care less.
"You don't look...well, Patchy. I think you need some sleep."
"No wait, before that, look! Here."
I revealed the brooch to her, putting it on the desk between us.
The kerykeion shaped brooch, with a shining red gem on its top.
The symbol of the Scarlet family.
I watched as she took it on her hand, inspecting it, before she finally blinked and snapped her finger.
"Ah yes, I remember. I asked you to retrieve this scarlet brooch a few weeks ago, eh Patchy?"
Suddenly I felt like the little energy I had left was drained out of me, along with my excitement.
Really. She forgot about it.
I had been working hard to satisfy her whim and she forgot about it.
Amazing. Vampires are truly amazing.
"No, Patchy, I was only joking. I couldn't have forgot about this."
I gave her a look of irritation, resting my chin on a stack of books. She was laughing like it was nothing, but I wasn't as carefree as her.
That's it. I swear, this will be the last time I listen to her silly request.
"Say, do you really retrieve it from the past?"
"..using the memories of all the previous Knowledge implanted in me, it is possible. But I don't think you need to know the detail about that."
"Aww, stop sulking, Patchy. Your tiny performance means a lot."
Right, tiny performance. I'd like to see you pull off something like that, Remi. I was about to retreat to my room for a good long rest when I heard her sweet voice calling for me once again.
"Actually I have something far more greater that could only be done with your magic. Would you like to hear?"
I'd like to ignore her and walked away, but no. My feet stopped walking; for the countless time, my curiosity and thirst of knowledge won over my reason, and I turned around, gazing at her scarlet eyes that held back a boundless wonder.
"I need you to relocate something far bigger than this tiny brooch."
It was too late for me to stop; eighty-five years too late. My fate had been locked, serving her curiosity for eternity for the sake of my own thirst of knowledge.
"I want you to relocate this mansion and everything inside it to a land in a far away east, to an eastern wonderland called Gensokyo."